September 8: Amusing...and sad

For all of us to disconnect from the electronic world and evaluate our behavior, beginning with one day a year – Yom Kippur – is amusing.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Amusing... and sad
Sir, – While not exactly novel, Eric Yaverbaum and Mark DiMassimo’s idea (“US ‘offlining’ campaign promotes ‘no-device’ day on Yom Kippur,” September 6) for all of us to disconnect from the electronic world and evaluate our behavior, beginning with one day a year – Yom Kippur – is amusing.
It’s also sad that in their advertising, they’ve chosen to denigrate others, such as Mel Gibson and Tiger Woods.
Bnei Dror
No sucker, he
Sir, – In another brilliant piece, Mudar Zahran (“Arabs playing politics; Palestinians suffering,” Opinion, September 5) shows that he is one Palestinian who will not be taken for a sucker.
Zahran understands that the Palestinians are being used as propaganda tools while being shabbily treated by their fellow Arabs.
But how likely is it that his message will catch on? Zahran is bucking Islamic dogma by praising Israel and criticizing Arab regimes, since by doing so he is taking the side of infidels over believers. On the other hand, his positions display fairness and common sense.
It may take time, but eventually such pragmatism and rational self-interest will win out over religious bigotry and manipulative despots.
Jericho, Vermont
Holiday time
Sir, – Your September 5 editorial (“Let it stay light”) was timeless – but not entirely accurate. According to a law passed in 2005, Daylight Savings Time begins on the last Thursday night of March, and not on the last Saturday night, as you stated.
Further, you did not include the background of the compromise that led to the law.
After decades of arguing each year when to begin and end DST, a compromise was reached whereby the religious parties chose to have Yom Kippur end in the six o’clock hour, and the non-religious parties chose to begin DST in April. As has been pointed out, the fast is the same 25 hours and, unlike the frontpage article in the same issue (“Politicians fight over setting the clock back”) stated, prayers in synagogue are of the same length, although morning prayers are earlier.
In addition, the whole nation has to somehow find a way to eat a large meal at 4 p.m., which is quite uncomfortable.
Contrast this with the problem of Passover. By starting DST at the end of March, 75 percent of Passover Seders begin after 8 p.m., and by the time we tell the story of the exodus, many children are already sleeping.
The better quote for your editorial would have been: “And you should teach your children on that night as it says because of this we were taken out of Egypt” (Shemot 13:8).
Had I been asked in 2005 which season of the compromise I would have preferred, I would have chosen the Spring. I would therefore like to propose that DST run from April 17 to December 1. This would ensure that the vast majority of Passover Seders are earlier while providing the maximum number of days of DST for all to enjoy.
Suitable photos, please
Sir, – Who decides on which pictures to choose for the front page of The Jerusalem Post? Lately, you've had pictures of Arabs praying for Ramadan, Hizbullah supporters marking Al-Quds Day, Iranian President Ahmadinejad, etc. Even the picture of Michelangelo’s David – although a work of art, many people I know were offended to see David’s nudity on the front page.
How about some pictures of the Jewish people and their holidays? For example, the picture you had on Page 5 of the September 6 newspaper, about preparing for the New Year by removing notes from the Western Wall stones, would have made a great front page picture. Also, you could have printed a picture of shofar blowing during Slichot prayers.
It’s time that front page pictures showed a reflection of the Jewish people and their holidays.